OAKLAND — Black Francis took the mic with no pleasantries or any introduction at the Pixies show at the Fox Theater Thursday evening, the first of three Bay Area concerts. In fact, at no point during the two-hour-long show did any member of the band address the audience. Perhaps that’s what enabled the Pixies to blast through more than 30, yes, 30, songs in that span.
Black Francis, David Lovering, Joey Santiago and Paz Lenchantin showed up to play music, not make playful banter. And they had an easy time filling a set, jumping right in with one of their best-known songs, “Wave of Mutilation.” Two hors later, the Pixies would revive the song as a reprise with “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf).”
The group filled out the rest of the set with tracks from the entirety of its catalog, including singles like “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven,” “Velouria” and the eternally catchy “Here Comes Your Man;” and standouts like “Bone Machine” and, of course, its hit song, “Where Is My Mind?” both from debut album Surfer Rosa.
The newer material, including “Head Carrier,” “Classic Masher” and “Tenement Song,” all from 2016’s Head Carrier, also impressed.
SoCal surf punk band The Frights opened the show and wasted none of its time on stage.
“We’re the Pixies from Boston, Massachusetts,” singer-guitarist Mikey Carnevale quipped before the trio launched into a furious 30-minute set of tracks like “All I Need,” “Crust Bucket” and its best-known, “Tungs.”
— Sara Whitham